It pays to follow the crowd

February 27, 2014

Re “Crowdfunding ‘could threaten government investment’” (timeshighereducation.co.uk, 19 January). I do not agree with the sentiment that if we raise funds via the public the government might stop putting in money. Having worked with hubbub.net, the crowdfunding in education platform, I would argue that crowdfunding is about one-off projects, not ongoing grants. Existing alumni fundraising drives are more likely to threaten government funding as they focus on long-term giving and large donations.

Moreover, crowdfunding could stretch government investment. The government currently supports in various forms several different things with very inefficient selection/grant processes. If instead of funding good grant applications at its whim, the government match-funded projects that were crowd-funded, it would result in a more efficient and public-centric selection/filtering process, and mean that every £1 spent would be equivalent to £2.

Match-funding is the route that the Higher Education Funding Council for England and UnLtd are taking with the latest university social enterprise grant programme – they are match-funding universities and clusters to work on social enterprise development/programmes.

Zoe Olsberg
Via timeshighereducation.co.uk

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